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The Python Web SIG is dedicated to improving Python's support for interacting with World Wide Web services and clients.


The first task should be to create a plan (in the form of a PEP) for bringing the Web support in the standard Python library up to modern standards. This would address capabilities such as (but not limited to) CSS parsing, XHTML parsing and generation support, client-side and server-side SSL support, simple server frameworks, multi-part/form-data POST support, and CGI support. I suggest that we set a time limit of six months for coming up with a plan.

Some concrete suggestions on how to draw up a work list follow. The task can be divided into two parts, client and server.

On the client side, a great deal of mechanism is available, but it's been developed in a patchwork fashion over the last 10 years. I'd suggest that we build a checklist based on looking at some client-side tool like curl, then add the ability to do everything in that checklist to Python's "httplib" module. Additional API sugar could also be added, probably in a new module. HTML and XML parsing are pretty solid, but a critical lack on the client side is the lack of a CSS parser.

On the server side, things are a bit more dire. The stdlib contains three web server modules, BaseHTTPServer, SimpleHTTPServer, and CGIHTTPServer, none of which are up to today's web tasks. I'd suggest a similar strategy here: pick a Web framework that already exists, make a functionality checklist from it, and add that functionality to a new webserver module. I'd start with Medusa, since I'm familiar with it and pretty happy with it, but something else might be better. The other major problem on the server side is the lack of server-side SSL support, critical in today's hostile networking environment. Finally, something like PyPHP would be a good thing to support in the webserver module.